Their relationship is ‘working out’. Check out these trainers from India who share both love and a passion for fitness
Since 2020, hitting the gym has not been possible for everyone. So, what better than working out in the comfort of your home with your partner? Here are a few couples who bonded, and fell in love, over a shared interest in fitness and health.
Lavanya Narain and P Gladston
It was in 2001 that Bharatanatyam dancer Lavanya Narain (44) decided to learn a new art form. She wanted something more challenging and ultimately took up kalaripayattu. She enrolled under coach Shaji John at Besant Nagar, Chennai for her training. It was there that she met her now husband, Gladston P (46). “We were both living in Neelankarai. We were also at the same level of learning. So we became friends and started practising together,” recollects Gladston.
“It was fun. I did not rush into anything,” recollects Lavanya. She is talking about learning the kalaripayattu techniques but she could just as well be talking about her friendship with Gladston — it took them over four years to fall in love. “We got married on a pleasant February morning in 2010 at the Government register office,” she says.
Since then, they train together on their terrace early in the mornings. “Now we don’t have to depend on anyone else to practise the weapons with. Also, both of us have our strengths. While I am great at remembering the sequences and the commands, Lavanya is good at getting the details right,” he explains.
Since 2019, they have been running NeoKalari that offers training in the form. Post the pandemic, the duo has moved their sessions online. They now conduct three classes per week. “It is good that we share a common interest. Even if we fight over something silly, we get over it during our training. That is the best part,” laughs Lavanya.
Aditya Arora and Sheenu Arora
Aditya and Sheenu
Aditya Arora (34) and Sheenu Arora (36) met at the Fitness First Gym in Connaught Place, Delhi in 2009. While Aditya worked as a group fitness instructor, Sheenu was then a member there. “During one of the classes, I noticed her. She was fit and eager to learn about training. I guided her and we ended up spending a lot of time together training in the gym.”
A year later, Sheenu also joined Aditya as a fitness trainer there and they realised that they had a lot of things in common. “Both of us started our fitness journey to lose weight. At our heaviest, Aditya was 108 kilograms and I was 105. We lost close to 45 kg with years of practice. Even though we were fit, we were always worried if we would gain it back,” says Sheenu. It was this shared drive that made them click.
After training, they went on movie dates or for a quick bite in a café. “We were the black sheep in our friends gang as we were fitness conscious, ate clean, did not party and drink. With each other, we did not feel pressurised to do anything that we did not want to,” recollects Aditya.
Their conversations revolved around fitness. After four years of dating, they got married in 2014 and started a new venture called Fit by Nature. “We had a baby in 2018 and that year was a bit bumpy. Now, though we train every day, we don’t do it together as one of us needs to look after our child,” says Aditya. Post lockdowns, they started offering online fitness sessions.
The couple believes that encouraging each other to maintain fitness helped their relationship too. “The happy hormones produced while we work out together have helped strengthen our relationship.”
Muhammed Shahid and Hafsa Shahid
Muhammed Shahid and Hafsa Shahid
Muhammed Shahid (31) and Hafsa Shahid (30) are fitness trainers based in Malappuram. Though both of them were health-conscious from a young age, they decided to explore a career in it only after their wedding in 2016. “Hafsa’s brother is a trainer and runs a chain of fitness centres. We started by managing one of the gyms. There, we saw a bond between clients and the trainers. It felt special and we wanted to give it a try. We started to work out and in six months started training others,” he says.
They became certified in 2020. “We waited till we were sure that this is the path we want to follow for the rest of our lives. Now we know that this is our future,” he says. Hafsa also undertook a certification course in Nutrition and now provides diet charts for their clients. “People’s nutrition needs differ, and it is important to find a diet that helps them attain their fitness goals,” she says. The couple also runs a YouTube page called Fitreat Couple.
Shahid and Hafsa help each other stay fit. “Our fitness goals are different, so we don’t follow the same workout. But she helps me with my diet. Three years ago, Hafsa gained weight after her pregnancy, and I guided her to lose that weight. We take all these decisions after consulting each other. This has increased our mutual trust and respect,” he says.